How are you using iAnnotate 4?

One thing that always astonishes us is the sheer number of different uses you've discovered for iAnnotate. Lawyers mark up legal briefings. Professors use it during lectures while students mark up their notes. Audiobook narrators, entertainment industry insiders and others have shared interesting uses for iAnnotate we never would have expected.

What hasn't surprised us is how you've found newer ways to use iAnnotate 4. We improved how fast iAnnotate 4 displays large, complex PDF files, and a number of professionals have written about that.


When Apple announced the Pencil we knew it would be big, but we're still excited to hear how useful it is in-concert with iAnnotate 4.

It really is as close as it gets to the paper and pen experience.

And of course we'd be remiss not to mention one of our favorite iAnnotate users sharing how helpful it is to have the app on his phone.


Having your documents and tools available wherever, whenever is a huge win.

As always we'd love to hear from you about how you use iAnnotate. Tweet us @branchfire or write in to our support team and let us know.

Introducing iAnnotate 4!

When we built iAnnotate back in 2011 we had a feeling it might catch on. We had no idea it would grow into one of the most popular productivity apps for the iPad. But here we are, five years later, still bringing in new users.

Now we're introducing iAnnotate 4, a major update of the app with features you've all been asking for. Version 4 is a new app. It will not replace your old iAnnotate, but will be the focus of our development from now on.

Here's some of what's new in iAnnotate 4:


You can read, annotate and share documents right on your phone. We brought all your favorite features to this smaller device, so you can continue to work when you're on the go.

iPad Pro

We've heard from a lot of iPad Pro users who want to use iAnnotate in multitasking mode, so we made that possible. Now you can annotate while you play music in iTunes and do other important things. :) We even added special support for the Pencil (automatically start to draw when it touches the screen) and Smart Keyboard (hold down the 'command' button to see a list of keyboard shortcuts).

New Annotations

Version 4 includes support for rectangle, circle, and arrow annotations. We also added a new-and-improved signature tool that makes zooming in to write easier than ever.

Webpages and Image

Open a webpage right in a tab, then clip to PDF and mark it up. Only iAnnotate offers this straightforward web annotation feature. It's perfect for students, teachers, and anyone else who wants to grab an article from their favorite site.

iAnnotate 4 also offers image sharing. We still convert them to PDF, but give you the option to share back out as an image with your annotations flattened. You can text message them, share on Facebook and Twitter, and more!

Easier Save Experience

In the original iAnnotate, it wasn't always clear to users when their documents save back to their device or the cloud. We improved this in iAnnotate - now documents save when you switch tabs, and will also give you a chance to save when you close them out.

More Cloud Options

New in version 4 is iCloud support. Just create an iCloud connection and store your documents there to make backup a breeze. We also built support for OneDrive for Business, one of our most commonly requested features.

Lots of Small Upgrades

One thing that excited us about iAnnotate 4 was the opportunity to make a lot of small improvements to the app's experience, while still retaining the overall design. Here are a few cool new features to look out for:

  • Work on as many documents as you want to with unlimited tabs!
  • Try our new single action button for easier sharing through your favorite apps.
  • Our powerful new plus button simplifies importing documents to your library.
  • New toolbar buttons let you show only the tools you want to see.

As a final note, we want to say thank you to all of our users. You have been such an important part of the iAnnotate story, and we really hope you stay with us as we start writing this new chapter.


Annotate on the Web with Folia!

Folia users have shared and reviewed countless documents through our mobile apps. They've created Folias, uploaded documents, and made annotations on iPhone, iPad and Android. Meanwhile, our web version only allowed them to view documents and annotations. You had to use Folia on a mobile device for the full experience.

Now we're excited to announce that Folia offers annotation and other critical features right on the web. With this update, Folia brings the complete experience on phone, tablet and desktop.

With the new features in our web app, you can:

  • Upload documents from the desktop with drag-and-drop
  • Mark them up with shapes, pins, and typewriter annotations
  • Move, delete, or change the style of annotations
  • Read and respond to conversations

These improvements let you use Folia entirely from your browser, making it easier than ever to get and give feedback on documents. Imagine you start your workday with several documents you need someone to review. Upload them to a Folia, add a few markups, and share right from your computer.

And with our powerful sync technology, your Folias always have the latest docs and annotations. Students using Folia can mark up documents in class, then review them on a computer later to see if anyone replied. Workers can add documents from their office computers to read on their phones on the commute home.

We're actively working on the rest of our features to the web, including support for ink, highlight, underline and strikeout annotations. But don't wait for that, start using our new annotation features today. Hit us up on Twitter if you have any questions.

Why we built Folia v2

Earlier today we launched Folia v2 (if you're already a Folia user you can read about what this means to you here). I thought it would be a good idea to share with you why we chose to make some changes with this new version.

When we asked people why they use Folia, the answer was usually something like this: I need to annotate my documents to take notes.

But when we dig deeper, we learn that people really want something else. They want to:

  • Capture ideas before a big presentation
  • Highlight sections of legal documents and the export notes
  • Share notes and feedback on a student’s homework

You don’t work on documents. You work with other people, on projects, tasks, and ideas.

Annotation apps help with this. You can use them to read a document and take notes at the same time, then send these notes to someone else to review. But they still have limitations that prevent them from being an integral part of your day.

  • You can only work on one document at a time
  • Different document types have different types of comments (think PDF versus PowerPoint)
  • The person you share the file with needs a similar app to open and view the annotated document

These are just a few of issues we’ve seen our customers run into. That’s why we just re-invented Folia as a service that helps you present and communicate with your content.

Folia still lets you mark up your files, but the real power comes into play when you pull several documents into a single Folia. Not only can you mark them up yourself, but you can invite others to the Folia to comment on the set with you, and track their work in our activity panel.

Imagine a consultant sharing documents with a client. She might send an email with attachments, or put them in a folder on Dropbox and share a link. With Folia she can package the files for them, and let them mark them up, or even engage in a conversation. It’s a great way to answer questions and get feedback, in order to provide her clients with a better experience.

Or let’s say you need to review a set of documents with your team at work. Instead of putting them all in a cloud storage folder, or even worse printing them all, try putting them in  a Folia. Then your team can use the app to discuss the documents, to edit and approve them together. Document review is easier when you content and tools are all in one place.

We're excited about how Folia brings documents and people together, providing you with a powerful engine to present and discuss your content and ideas. Create a Folia account today to get started.